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Faith story: Redefining passion

News | January 24, 2019

Editor’s note: Emma Tews is a senior in high school. She recently shared her faith story during Sunday Night Live.

If you know my family, you know that I have two sisters and we look and act very similarly because we are so close. I grew up as my older sister’s sidekick. I was her little pet horse or do, ever her little reindeer named Antlers when she would play Mrs. Claus. I grew up thinking that following in her footsteps was the right thing to do. She was well-liked, and everything she did or made was beautiful, and I wanted to be like that. She was involved in dance, volleyball, band, tennis, and worked hard in school. So, I began dance classes at the age of 3, I joined volleyball, I took tennis lessons, I played the flute, and I worked hard in school.

But then I realized that this wouldn’t help me create my identity. I wanted to be noticed, and I wanted people to know Emma as someone who was more than Marah’s little sister.

One day my mom compared me and Marah to the right and left sides of the brain. If you know anything about psychology, the right side is more creative, the more colorful side (Marah), while they left side is the more logistical, disciplined side (me). I embraced this difference and decided that disciplining myself in literally every aspect of my life would help me stand out.

With music, I decided to try out for an honor band in 8th grade, and made myself practice every single day. I vividly remember my dad coming into my room one day to drop something off as I was practicing. “There’s the daily scales,” he said.

With dance, I perfected every movement and focused on the dance part more than being a part of the community of friends.

With school, I gave 110 percent effort for all of my projects, even if it was just a simple brochure in health class about what a healthy lifestyle looks like.

Yes, all this hard work did pay off. I was accepted as the second chair into the band, I received my studio’s inspirational dancer award this past year, and I maintained all As in school. The feeling of accomplishing something I had worked so hard on felt good, but only for a moment or a few days. The work that I was doing was more draining than it was fulfilling. There was an evident lack of self care. I was always sleep deprived, and didn’t have a clue about what a healthy mental health routine looked like. But my attention wasn’t focused there. I strove to make my difficult lifestyle look effortless. I didn’t want anyone to see how overwhelming it could be, and how thinly I was stretched.

I haven’t even brought up God once yet, but that’s because I don’t believe that God was really present at this point in my life. As a little kid, I believed God existed, but didn’t form a strong bond with God. Same with confirmation. Then all of this was going on through the early years of high school, and I left God out of the picture.

God re-entered my life when God knew I reached the breaking point. It was a Wednesday night. Let me tell you about my Wednesdays in the spring of junior year. It was a time when three sports (tennis, dance, and volleyball) overlapped. I woke up at 6 a.m. to go to early bird weightlifting, then would go through school, then tennis immediately after school, then headed to volleyball, then dance, and then arrive home at 10:30 p.m. But of course I couldn’t go to bed without studying and playing my flute. I would say a quick “hey” to my parents, shower, study, play my flute, and go to be around 1-2 a.m., sometimes even 3.

I was caught up in this relentless cycle, and my body finally tapped out and said “I’ve had enough.” During this Wednesday night, I looked over my to-do list, and my body just said no. All of the reminders written down started repeating themselves in my head, and I started to shake, and couldn’t take a deep breath, and the tears started coming, and it was all too much. I started thinking that I wasn’t going to be able to do this anymore, but then I was afraid that people would see me as weak, and that I was slacking off, and that I would lose my only sense of identity.

I looked up above my bed and saw this picture that Marah, my older sister, made for me when we redid this room. On it, was a quote. I finally understood its meaning.

I finally understood there was help, that this is how I form a relationship with God. God created heaven and earth together, and they are within one another. God meant for people to build real relationships, and to be happy with their lives, and to not be perfect all of the time. This picture brought Marah back into my life, but I know used her difference (being artistic) to help me with my difference (being overly disciplined). In that moment, I found a release of stress, and tension, anxiety, and realized that there was a different way to live life.

I realized that before, I was just skimming the surface of life, even though I was dedicating my whole self to every activity. If you imagine the floor of a desert, I was just trying to cover as much land as I could to reach an oasis/relief. But now, I realize that you’ll only find the sweetness of life within its cracks, like the relief the cracks of the desert floor bring to something trying to escape the intense heat of the sun. I finally understood the definition of grace, being lenient when you’re pushing hard. I realized that I needed to incorporate real passion into my life and not focus on being so disciplined and rigid.

Now, I’m still doing the same activities, but I find it easier to live in the moment, and appreciate the art of music and the art of dance, and the relationships I build with each one. I’ve redirected my energy to make life meaningful, and slowing down rather than just trying to accomplish and perfect every little thing. In doing so, I’m not drained, I get energy out of socializing with others and out of feeling proud of how beautiful something is, not necessarily how difficult it is.

While creating these more meaningful relationships in the communities that used to be the foundatino of my stress – school, dance, and band – I realized that people will love me regardless of what I achieve or don’t achieve. I know that yes “I look to the mountains, but my help will always come from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth.”

4 Comments on “Faith story: Redefining passion”

  • Joan Bruce

    January 26, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    Oh, Emma, how beautifully written is your testimony. I can relate to so much of what you expressed. I found your words to be very inspirational and comforting. You possess so much insightful wisdom for such a young person. Thank you for sharing your beautiful end quotation.

  • Lynda Gradert

    January 25, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    Wow, Emma! I’m still drying my eyes after reading your testimony! It was so heartfelt, and by telling it with such transparency, I’m convinced that the ripples will be used by God in someone else’s life in a most amazing way! Your sharing blessed me! 😊

  • Nancy Hultquist

    January 24, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    I loved reading your story, Emma. You are a beautiful child of God with so much potential and gifts to give to this world. I’m very proud of you!

  • Pamela Spear

    January 24, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    Congratulations on making changes in your life. It is not always easy. I so appreciated your faith story and the wisdom it exudes. It is very easy for people of faith to get over involved and not take care of themselves. We need to practice compassionate care giving for ourselves and then we are more present to others.

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Jeremiah 23:23-29

23“Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD,

“And not a God far off?

24“Can a man hide himself in hiding places

So I do not see him?” declares the LORD.

“Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD.

25“I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, ‘I had a dream, I had a dream!’26“How long? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart,27who intend to make My people forget My name by their dreams which they relate to one another, just as their fathers forgot My name because of Baal?28“The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has My word speak My word in truth. What does straw have in common with grain?” declares the LORD.29“Is not My word like fire?” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?

Psalm 82

1God takes His stand in His own congregation;

He judges in the midst of the rulers.

2How long will you judge unjustly

And show partiality to the wicked?

Selah.

3Vindicate the weak and fatherless;

Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.

4Rescue the weak and needy;

Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.

5They do not know nor do they understand;

They walk about in darkness;

All the foundations of the earth are shaken.

6I said, “You are gods,

And all of you are sons of the Most High.

7“Nevertheless you will die like men

And fall like any one of the princes.”

8Arise, O God, judge the earth!

For it is You who possesses all the nations.

Hebrews 11:29-12:2

29By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.

30By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.31By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.

32And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets,33who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions,34quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.35Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection;36and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment.37They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated38(men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.

39And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised,40because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.

Jesus, the Example

1Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Luke 12:49-56

49“I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled!50“But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!51“Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division;52for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three.53“They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

54And He was also saying to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it turns out.55“And when you see a south wind blowing, you say, ‘It will be a hot day,’ and it turns out that way.56“You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time?

Isaiah 58:9-14

9“Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;

You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’

If you remove the yoke from your midst,

The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness,

10And if you give yourself to the hungry

And satisfy the desire of the afflicted,

Then your light will rise in darkness

And your gloom will become like midday.

11“And the LORD will continually guide you,

And satisfy your desire in scorched places,

And give strength to your bones;

And you will be like a watered garden,

And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.

12“Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins;

You will raise up the age-old foundations;

And you will be called the repairer of the breach,

The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.

Keeping the Sabbath

13“If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot

From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,

And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable,

And honor it, desisting from your own ways,

From seeking your own pleasure

And speaking your own word,

14Then you will take delight in the LORD,

And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;

And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,

For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

Psalm 103:1-8

1Bless the LORD, O my soul,

And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

2Bless the LORD, O my soul,

And forget none of His benefits;

3Who pardons all your iniquities,

Who heals all your diseases;

4Who redeems your life from the pit,

Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

5Who satisfies your years with good things,

So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

6The LORD performs righteous deeds

And judgments for all who are oppressed.

7He made known His ways to Moses,

His acts to the sons of Israel.

8The LORD is compassionate and gracious,

Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

Hebrews 12:18-29

18For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind,19and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them.20For they could not bear the command, “IF EVEN A BEAST TOUCHES THE MOUNTAIN, IT WILL BE STONED.”21And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I AM FULL OF FEAR and trembling.”22But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,23to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,24and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.

The Unshaken Kingdom

25See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven.26And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.”27This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.28Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;29for our God is a consuming fire.

Luke 14:1-14

Jesus Heals on the Sabbath

1It happened that when He went into the house of one of the leaders of the Pharisees on the Sabbath to eat bread, they were watching Him closely.2And there in front of Him was a man suffering from dropsy.3And Jesus answered and spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?”4But they kept silent. And He took hold of him and healed him, and sent him away.5And He said to them, “Which one of you will have a son or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?”6And they could make no reply to this.

Parable of the Guests

7And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them,8“When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him,9and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place.10“But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you.11“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

12And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment.13“But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,14and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Proverbs 25:6-7

6Do not claim honor in the presence of the king,

And do not stand in the place of great men;

7For it is better that it be said to you, “Come up here,”

Than for you to be placed lower in the presence of the prince,

Whom your eyes have seen.

Psalm 112

1Praise the LORD!

How blessed is the man who fears the LORD,

Who greatly delights in His commandments.

2His descendants will be mighty on earth;

The generation of the upright will be blessed.

3Wealth and riches are in his house,

And his righteousness endures forever.

4Light arises in the darkness for the upright;

He is gracious and compassionate and righteous.

5It is well with the man who is gracious and lends;

He will maintain his cause in judgment.

6For he will never be shaken;

The righteous will be remembered forever.

7He will not fear evil tidings;

His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.

8His heart is upheld, he will not fear,

Until he looks with satisfaction on his adversaries.

9He has given freely to the poor,

His righteousness endures forever;

His horn will be exalted in honor.

10The wicked will see it and be vexed,

He will gnash his teeth and melt away;

The desire of the wicked will perish.

Hebrews 13:1-8

The Changeless Christ

1Let love of the brethren continue.2Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.3Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.4Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.5Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKEYOU,”6so that we confidently say,

“THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID.

WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?”

7Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Luke 14:7-14

7And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them,8“When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him,9and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place.10“But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you.11“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

12And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment.13“But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,14and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Deuteronomy 30:15-20

15“See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity;16in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the LORD your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it.17“But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them,18I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it.19“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,20by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

Psalm 1

1How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,

Nor stand in the path of sinners,

Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

2But his delight is in the law of the LORD,

And in His law he meditates day and night.

3He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,

Which yields its fruit in its season

And its leaf does not wither;

And in whatever he does, he prospers.

4The wicked are not so,

But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.

5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

6For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,

But the way of the wicked will perish.

Philemon 1-21

Luke 14:25-33

25Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them,26“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.27“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.28“For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?29“Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him,30saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’31“Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand?32“Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.33“So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.

Exodus 32:7-14

7Then the LORD spoke to Moses, “Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves.8“They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and have sacrificed to it and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!’”9The LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, they are an obstinate people.10“Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation.”

Moses’ Entreaty

11Then Moses entreated the LORD his God, and said, “O LORD, why does Your anger burn against Your people whom You have brought out from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?12“Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, ‘With evil intent He brought them out to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your burning anger and change Your mind about doing harm to Your people.13“Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants to whom You swore by Yourself, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heavens, and all this land of which I have spoken I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’”14So the LORD changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people.

Psalm 51:1-10

1Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;

According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.

2Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity

And cleanse me from my sin.

3For I know my transgressions,

And my sin is ever before me.

4Against You, You only, I have sinned

And done what is evil in Your sight,

So that You are justified when You speak

And blameless when You judge.

5Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,

And in sin my mother conceived me.

6Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,

And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.

7Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8Make me to hear joy and gladness,

Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.

9Hide Your face from my sins

And blot out all my iniquities.

10Create in me a clean heart, O God,

And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

1 Timothy 1:12-17

12I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service,13even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;14and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.15It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.16Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.17Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Luke 15:1-10

The Lost Sheep

1Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him.2Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

3So He told them this parable, saying,4“What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?5“When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.6“And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’7“I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

The Lost Coin

8“Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?9“When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’10“In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

The Prodigal Son

Amos 8:4-7

4Hear this, you who trample the needy, to do away with the humble of the land,5saying,

“When will the new moon be over,

So that we may sell grain,

And the sabbath, that we may open the wheat market,

To make the bushel smaller and the shekel bigger,

And to cheat with dishonest scales,

6So as to buy the helpless for money

And the needy for a pair of sandals,

And that we may sell the refuse of the wheat?”

7The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob,

“Indeed, I will never forget any of their deeds.

Psalm 113

1Praise the LORD!

Praise, O servants of the LORD,

Praise the name of the LORD.

2Blessed be the name of the LORD

From this time forth and forever.

3From the rising of the sun to its setting

The name of the LORD is to be praised.

4The LORD is high above all nations;

His glory is above the heavens.

5Who is like the LORD our God,

Who is enthroned on high,

6Who humbles Himself to behold

The things that are in heaven and in the earth?

7He raises the poor from the dust

And lifts the needy from the ash heap,

8To make them sit with princes,

With the princes of His people.

9He makes the barren woman abide in the house

As a joyful mother of children.

Praise the LORD!

1 Timothy 2:1-7

A Call to Prayer

1First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,2for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.3This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.5For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,6who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.7For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

Luke 16:1-3

The Unrighteous Steward

1Now He was also saying to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and this manager was reported to him as squandering his possessions.2“And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’3“The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg.

Daniel 10:10-14

10Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees.11He said to me, “O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling.12Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words.13“But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.14“Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.

Psalm 103:1-22

1Bless the LORD, O my soul,

And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

2Bless the LORD, O my soul,

And forget none of His benefits;

3Who pardons all your iniquities,

Who heals all your diseases;

4Who redeems your life from the pit,

Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

5Who satisfies your years with good things,

So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

6The LORD performs righteous deeds

And judgments for all who are oppressed.

7He made known His ways to Moses,

His acts to the sons of Israel.

8The LORD is compassionate and gracious,

Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

9He will not always strive with us,

Nor will He keep His anger forever.

10He has not dealt with us according to our sins,

Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.

12As far as the east is from the west,

So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

13Just as a father has compassion on his children,

So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.

14For He Himself knows our frame;

He is mindful that we are but dust.

15As for man, his days are like grass;

As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.

16When the wind has passed over it, it is no more,

And its place acknowledges it no longer.

17But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him,

And His righteousness to children’s children,

18To those who keep His covenant

And remember His precepts to do them.

19The LORD has established His throne in the heavens,

And His sovereignty rules over all.

20Bless the LORD, you His angels,

Mighty in strength, who perform His word,

Obeying the voice of His word!

21Bless the LORD, all you His hosts,

You who serve Him, doing His will.

22Bless the LORD, all you works of His,

In all places of His dominion;

Bless the LORD, O my soul!

Revelation 12:7-12

7And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war,8and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.9And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,

“Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.11“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.12“For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”

Luke 10:17-20

17The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”18And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.19“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.20“Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”